Sunday, 18 May 2008

Lazy days.................

We've had a lovely lazy weekend. The weather has been a bit hit and miss so we haven't strayed very far, only to the park and a Beavers session. Ian's been away visiting his mum who has recently become very ill so it's been down to Mummy to entertain the troops - gulp! Fortunately we were rescued by friends both yesterday and today who came round for a play.
This afternoon, hoping to keep my bottom on a chair in the garden for longer that two seconds I set my children the "pirates" challenge we used to play as children. Get from one end of the garden to the other without touching the grass, using anything you can find. They loved it, kept them entertained for ages until Jack fell off the extremely precarious bridge he built using plywood and an old seaside bucket. I did try to explain the structural failings of the design but he wasn't having any of it! One lesson learned - mum knows best!
One thing very seldom heard in this house is the dreaded "I'm bored" phrase. I don't know if it's just that my children at nearly 8 and 4 are too young for that yet, but at the moment it isn't an issue. I made a decision when Jack was a baby that our children would not watch television. Most people thought me totally weird for making this choice but I stuck by my guns, and at times I wondered if I was doing the right thing. I knew that because I'm all for an easy life, if I started to let television creep in I would all too easily allow it to become a babysitter so I decided to not have it at all.
Many people told me that Jack would suffer among his peers at school because he wouldn't know about "Pokemon" or "Power Rangers" but that hasn't been the case. Ok, so he doesn't know the latest tv craze or any of the characters but he seems to manage without them. His love of books, lego and the great outdoors keep him more than entertained and although he doesn't have tonnes of friends he has enough to keep him happy.
Now they are both older we have brought a Friday night is tv night rule into play where they can choose a dvd or to watch something on tv. More often than not the tv is only on for half an hour and then they drift into the kitchen to see what I'm up to. I do wonder sometimes if they will grow up to be telly addicts because it was denied to them as children but at the moment it seems to be working for us so we're sticking to it. As parents we seek to do what we think is best for our children and this is one thing we thought was important, to bring our children up to have a thirst for knowledge, a love of books and the ability to entertain themselves.
Thought I'd end with some garden pictures. I'm no Percy Thrower, in fact I've killed off more plants than I've nurtured but my little (and only) bed is surprising me this year. I planted a few perennials without much confidence last year and most of them seem to be returning apart from two geraniums (I thought no-one could kill a geranium!) and the lupins. I'm looking forward to the next couple of months.
I keep my herbs in an old tin tub, I love picking my own from the garden, makes me feel all virtuous! We haven't got a patio at the moment (we did have a scary quote recently, so it's gone on the list of things to do) so I'm struggling where to put my pots. The railings are halfway through at the front of the house, I'll post some pics when they're finished.
Hope I haven't put you off with the whole television thing, I debated about posting it but it is an important thing in our house and part of our life so I decided to take a risk.
See you all soon..........................


jessica daisy said...

I think it's really great that you haven't let your little ones watch tv, it's not weird at all, and is to be commended! My neighbours children don't really watch tv either, but as there is three of them they always have someone to play with.

Unfortunately I'm not as good as you, and Ella watches it everyday at some point. I'm sure that if she wasn't an only child, she wouldn't want to watch it that much, but I think sometimes it's a bit of company, like I like having radio 4 on in the background when I'm doing something else, because quite often she is playing with her toys, drawing or 'reading' a book while it's on.

One thing I do hate is the adverts on tv because I get 'mum, can I have one of those' all the time, so I only let her watch the bbc's Cbeebies or the fav at the moment - the Charlie and Lola Dvd. Also I would never let her have tv in her room, I think it's madness that some young children do.

The pirate challenge sound like a great game, I shall have to put that into practise when we have friends over to play. I've just started to plant up some more herbs in enamel buckets by the back door too along with some edible flowers that I like to think I might scatter on salads (although I'm sure my husband will have something to say about flowers on his food), there is a house on the side of the road near us that always has lots of different herbs for sale during the spring and summer, you just leave the money by the door if their out, how nice and trusting is that.

jessica daisy said...

sorry that went on a little bit!

French Knots said...

The pirate game sounds brilliant, my two like to build obstacle courses round the garden but I'll set them the pirate challenge I think.
Well done for sticking to your guns, I have to confess that there is plenty of tv here!

Curlew Country said...

Being married to a TV reviewer menas its a bit of necessity in our house and I do enjoy it. I admire you for setting your mind to what is important for your family and sticking to it, well done! We've found Sky+ invaluable because instead of watching whatever is on, we can be a bit discerning, record things for the boys that they do love and enjoy adn avoid things we don;t liek (like my personal pet hate Power Rangers! Why does boys tv have to be so aggressive?), everything from documentaries about the Titanic and 747s to Springwatch. This way we can fast forward the ads and save tv for a moment when we can all sit together and watch something. Cbeebies is a bonus when I need to cook etc and give them 20 mins of downtime but I've found as they grow bigger they're getting better at entertaining themsleves and switch it off a lot and play cars/draw etc. Definitely not googleboxers my two.
Love your border edging btw, very rustic. Have a nice week and hope your mum-in-law is on the mend soon.
Stephx -oops, gone on a bit too!

Ragged Roses said...

Love the sound of the pirate game!!! Your garden is looking very pretty. Glad you managed to keep your bottom on a seat for more than two seconds as well! Well done you for the TV rule, far too late in this house to start with that one but I wish I had! Hope your mother in law is okay

Simone said...

My son has been brought up with tv but if I say to him does he want to watch tv or do some cooking with me he would opt to help me most of the time. He is an only child so he loves company. He is also physically active with clubs after school. I love the idea of the pirate game, I'll have to play it with my son!

Miss sew n sew said...

I think you have done very well setting that rule and sticking with it, it's something you should be proud of. As for us I try to limit how much they watch and make a consious effort to do other things but they do watch abit everyday I find cbeebies channel quite educational but some of the other channels with the likes of Bratz which I think is awful send out the wrong message. I have to say I do use it whilst making tea but now the weathers better their quite happy in the garden which helps alot! I do know people who stick a dvd on in their childrens bedrooms to get them to sleep I think that's awful! I'm a firm believer in a bedtime story and won't be allowing tv's in bedrooms! I'm sure your children will reap the rewards in the future.
Ps I think your pirate game is a great idea and your garden is coming on a treat!

shabby chic said...

Thats great about the tv as I do think that children do watch far too much. I know mine try too, I do try and limit the amount they watch though . Mind you my eldest is nearly eleven so that does get a bit harder.
I think they look to other things and get creative and learn to amuse themselves better if tv isnt around. At the moment I have a summer house in the garden and it has been used as a dumping ground for bikes etc for a while!, but they have requested a den. So I have popped table & stalls in their, pens art bits. I like the fact it is at the top of the garden too! and away from tv . My eldest tends to use computer more! I am glad she loves books as you can go into a whole new world.
I greatly agree that good old fashioned fun is the best and gets them to be creative. Instead of falling into the "I Want"(tv does have a way of advertising eh!) and opening them up to these new things that they wouldnt have know about !
x Dom

Anonymous said...

I must admit I do let the boys watch TV but to be honest they would rather be outside raking about in their dens, on bikes or just getting throughly dirty. We have a film night on Fridays too actually its a way of getting the little rascals off to bed early so we gets some quiet time! They both snuggle up in bed with homemade popcorn & the lights off and they get to choose the film!!(always a bone of contention in our house)

asti said...

Wow, well done for lasting so long with the telly rule...much admiration here !!

Cowboys & Custard said...

Three cheers for you Julia.. you are
to be applauded for your decision to ban television.. I wish I could say the same for this household.


prettyshabby said...

Julia you sound like such a great mum,well done for sticking to your guns. Sounds like you've started a bit of a debate here! TV was allowed in our house when the boys were young, but limited. To be honest they found it boring and would rather play outside, build things with lego or draw.We also went on a bike ride at every opportunity after school which is why they probably love their bikes so much.I never allowed them rubbish sweets or food (macdonalds or coca cola etc..) much to other parents sister in law thought I was evil and tried at every opportunity to go against my rules..that, I was really strict on and they knew they weren't allowed it when offered.It's hard to stick to your guns and sometimes you do wonder if you are doing the right thing,I felt a bit alienated sometimes as it wasnt such a big thing as it is today, but I'm glad I did.(even though I've got one really healthy eater totally uninterested in TV and one not so, it was still worth it!)

Hope you got my email btw..thankyou SO much for all my goodies! x

Katherines Dream said...

I did not really worry too much about the TV when bringing up my three children, they always just wanted to sit quietly and watch it as soon as they came in from school, just for a while with their tea and biscuits. None of them are telly addicts, especially my son all has to out in the fields with his dogs as much as he is allowed to be - by his partner! he get bored now with TV.
Lovely pictures of your garden Julia.
Carol xx

Raindrops to Rainbows said...

I want to play the pirate game!!!

I really commend you for not letting the kids watch TV. God willing if we have children i will also not allow the tv to be on when they are awake, i will also ban music (unless its kids music and even then il be selective) when they are around. I would rather protect my children than allowing the tv to take them off my hands for an hour. A book in the hand is much better, and especially if its in the great outdoors whilst breathing in the fresh air.

Oh i do hope we have children some day soon!

Lindsay XX

JuicyFig said...

well done you! I did try to do something similar, but gave in for an easy life - I also didn't introduce my daughter to sweets, chocolate and junk food for her formative years, and she thrived on organic veg etc, and enjoyed it, since being released into the wider world, she now lives on what I would consider to be 'crap' and denies ever having eated fruit or vegetables in the past - luckily I had anticipated such a reaction, and took loads of photo's of her, eating beetroot, water melons, carrots etc etc...mwahahaha!!!

I love the pirate game - may well utilise that with the neices!

Hope you enjoy your jaunt!


retrorose said...

I am impressed by your decision. My youngest chills out Thurs and Fri mornings with the cartoons and its a struggle to get her to turn them off.
I too worry that my opinions will make people think less of me, but I have to say my first reaction was; I could have made that decision too but I didn't. No judgement, but admiration.

A Saucerful Of Secrets said...


Suzie Sews said...

I have re reading your blog of late, the summer was a bit hectic and I was never really at home so I scanned rather than hence a few comments in odd places. I have just read this post and I am so envious, I so wish I had your ability to stick to your guns re the telly thing...My mate (Kate the one who loves your blog) does the same with her three with telly on just one night a week. My older one does not watch it much because of his hearing issues but my younger one is an addict and I struggle with older one says "Mom PLEASE tell him to turn it off I want to play' it causes endless mini rows and usually ends up in a sulking child. I can have a table full of craft stuff to do and he will still ask for the telly!!! I think I am going to put a bigger limit on it thanks to your inspiring post. I believe that the reason kids get bored is they have lost the ability to entertain themselves and you have just proved this theory...See what a fabulous Mom you are!